Less than a week before their season opener, the Tennessee Lady Volunteers were picked by the conference coaches to defend their SEC women's basketball crown.
After capturing the regular-season and tournament championships last year, UT received 120 points — 20 more than second-place Kentucky. Georgia, LSU and Florida rounded out the top five. Results were announced by the conference office Tuesday morning.
Vanderbilt, which finished third in the SEC last year, was picked sixth. The Commodores were picked fifth, in the media’s preseason rankings released last month.
Tennessee’s Shekinna Stricklen was tabbed the preseason player of the year. Teammates Glory Johnson and Meighan Simmons join her on the first team.
Vanderbilt center Stephanie Holzer also was named to the first team. Junior forward Tiffany Clarke received second-team honors.
Tennessee opens its season at 3 p.m. Sunday against visiting Pepperdine. Vanderbilt kicks off the 2011-12 campaign at home on Friday, with a 6 p.m. start against Alabama A&M.